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Sharp Releases Roof / Solar Cell Modules 2005-07-07


On October 1, 2004, Sharp Corp., a leading Japanese manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) modules, started selling modules that integrate solar cells with metal roofing material. The PV modules can be installed on rooftops without removing existing slate roofing, enabling speedy and almost waste-free installation.

Up until fiscal 2000, almost as many PV systems were installed on existing homes as on new homes in Japan. During the past few years, however, installations on existing homes have increased, and in fiscal 2003 more than 80 percent of solar installations were on existing houses. Moreover, the number of home renovations roughly equaled new housing starts in fiscal 2003, and is expected to increase further in future.

In this business climate, Sharp has focused on the roof renovation market. It has been working to integrate PV modules and roofing material to nearly eliminate waste during renovation. Sharp also wanted to create a good-looking system that would be easy to install and place for maximum efficiency. The result is this PV / roofing module, developed in collaboration with JFE Galvanizing & Coating Co.

This new module uses western-style roof tiles, is lightweight and can be efficiently installed even on a roof that is complex in shape. It is also available for new houses. There are two types of modules: a five-tile type with a maximum output of 52.5 watts (costing 26,880 yen or US $242), and a four-tile type with a maximum output of 38 watts (costing 22,050 yen or US$199). Sharp expects to produce 20,000 units of these two types of modules.

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